April 8, 2014

Why did the UConn Huskies win the NCAA tournament? Was it the logo?

I acknowledge last night's victory, and I want to draw attention to something that changed just about exactly one year earlier.

I blogged it here, on April 26, 2013: "UConn's new husky dog logo — insensitive to campus violence against women?"
"In an open letter to UC President Susan Herbst, self-described feminist student Carolyn Luby wrote that the redesigned team logo will intimidate women and empower rape culture."
UConn basketball coach Geno Auriemma said the logo “is looking right through you and saying, ‘Do not mess with me.’ This is a streamlined, fighting dog, and I cannot wait for it to be on our uniforms and court.”

In response, Luby wrote, “What terrifies me about the admiration of such traits is that I know what it feels like to have a real life Husky look straight through you and to feel powerless, and to wonder if even the administration cannot ‘mess with them.’ And I know I am not alone.”
Here are the old and new logos.



The terrifying Huskies looked straight through their opponents and made them feel powerless...

46 comments:

Meade said...

"Why did the UConn Huskies win the NCAA tournament?"

Free throws.
UK: 13-24 for 54%
UCONN: 10-10 for 100%

Brando said...

The media really needs to stop feeding the trolls. That logo is to violence against women as a frisbee is to a scorpion.

Ann Althouse said...

I say it was the dog.

Get that tongue back in your mouth, dog.

Now, he's scary!

garage mahal said...

I was rooting against Kentucky and their fancy healthcare that we don't need here in Wisky. Elitists!

lgv said...

Did Luby assume it was a male dog? I think it may be female, which is why it has nothing to do with rape culture. I think Luby should transfer to Georgetown, where she spend years trying to figure out what a Hoya is and how it empowers rape culture.

Meade said...

Learn to make your free throws every time. Square up, 3 bounces, spin ball, eye on back of rim, bend knees, one hand, thumb and first two fingers, arc, follow through, end on toes. Success. Be the tongue. Be the dog. Be the back of the mouth.

Ann Althouse said...

@Meade

From 538: "FiveThirtyEight’s model calls Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game between Kentucky and Connecticut a tossup. If it’s as close as each team’s win probabilities are, the game will probably come down to free throws. If it does, advantage, UConn."

Meade said...

Cool! I coulda told you that. You don't need no stink in' FiThityAte.

Robert Cook said...

Huskies (and their relatives, Malamutes), are not fighting dogs. They are work dogs and they are bred for strength to haul heavy weight, (sleds and the people and articles transported thereby).

Temperamentally, they are mellow, very sociable and loving animals. (We had a Malamute in our family.)

Their use as symbols for sports teams might refer to their strength and endurance in accomplishing hard tasks, but not to any ferocity, which is not part of their character.

SJ said...

Though they don't play basketball in the same league, I will always be partial to a different Husky team.

(I've seen the MTU Huskies play the UW Badgers in hockey. It was fun.)

About the logo: those dogs can both look look happy or menacing. Depends very slightly on context, and on what the viewer is assuming.

And Nate Silver was right about this one. Sports is one area where lots of easily-accessed stats can give a good analysis of the odds.

Owen said...

UConn needs to decide what kind of dog it wants. The old logo looked like a gay Samoyed auditioning to become a lapdog. The new (and IMHO much improved) logo is a Siberian husky if you go by the blue eyes or a Malemute if you go by the build. There is about a 50 lb difference and so far as I know Malemutes don't have blue eyes.

Of course now that "Game of Thrones" is running, it might be a zombie Malemute from the post-mortem horde beyond the Wall.

Whatever it is, it works like a champ.

jacksonjay said...


They won because that Shabazz fellow was "starving" for the win!

Michael said...

As Robert Cook correctly points out, Huskies may look mean but they are not. Now the young trembling lady would have had a point if the team mascot was the UConn Presa Canarios.

David said...

Robert Cook said...
Huskies (and their relatives, Malamutes), are not fighting dogs. They are work dogs and they are bred for strength to haul heavy weight, (sleds and the people and articles transported thereby).

Temperamentally, they are mellow, very sociable and loving animals. (We had a Malamute in our family.)

Their use as symbols for sports teams might refer to their strength and endurance in accomplishing hard tasks, but not to any ferocity, which is not part of their character.


This is the one where I completely, totally agree with the precisely accurate Robert Cook.

David said...

If you are a cat (or other small non canine mammal), ignore everything Robert Cook said. Of course if you are a cat and can read, you have a great future.

Wilbur said...

Meade:
I learned to shoot free throws from watching Rick Mount - receive the ball from the ref, one quick bounce and bring it up in the same motion to shoot, as much like a jumper in the midst of regular play as possible.

Did very well with it in high school and JC.

Meade said...

Rick Mount. Now there was pure shooter! Watched him shoot down my high school team more than once and then watched his fine career at Purdue. If only the 3-point shot had been around at that time.

n.n said...

Actually, that's how a weaker opponent gains the advantage, through intimidation. Ironically, that's how feminists gained the advantage, by slandering and degrading their opponents, especially men.

Luby needs to step back, and evaluate cause and effect, and real world incidence. The feminists are doing themselves no favor by following the conventional civil rights path. Their predisposition to extrapolate from the specific and infer generalities is immoral and unethical, respectively.

JPS said...

Robert Cook:

"not to any ferocity, which is not part of their character."

I may have mentioned this the last time the dreaded Huskies logo came up here: I once read an excellent article discussing the pros and cons of owning them. Among the latter, for some, is their unsuitability as guard dogs:

"Although they may accidentally scare off an intruder due to their intense presence, they are gregarious animals, and are likely to greet an intruder with the same warmth they would show an old friend."

Absolutely true of ours. As I leave the house, I remind her to please guard the house with her intense presence.

traditionalguy said...

The Ladies Basketball finals are tonight and those fighting dog Huskies are going against the Notre Dame fighting Irish.

And the Irish have the woman coach who has called the Huskie male coach an uncivil bully.

I blame the Mascot Logo.

Meade said...

"1967-1968[edit]
In his first varsity game, Mount scored a game-high 28 points in a last-second, two-point loss to a top-ranked UCLA team. It was also the first game played in Mackey Arena."

I remember exactly where I was sitting and shock and deflation when UCLA hit the buzzer beater.

BDNYC said...

13 points is more than 10 points.

Meade said...

"13 points is more than 10 points."

True but the entire dynamics of those stats equals WIN for UCONN. Well-deserved.

wendybar said...

Because they were better!!!


Let's Go UConn Women!!!!!!!!!

JackOfClubs said...

They could have just changed their name to The Pomeranians and kept the old logo.

Meade said...

"Let's Go UConn Women!!!!!!!!! "

You got it! I'll be watching. 8:30PM ET ESPN

Helenhightops said...

I cannot root for Geno.

Steve said...

Must have been the free throws. The Kentucky Wildcats are not as intimidated by a cartoon dog as fourth wave, hipster feminists.

Fritz said...

"about exactly"?

J Baker said...

When I first read this post, I thought, "Oh no. Really??" Then when I actually read the attached letter, I realized that Ann must not have read it herself. The letter writer is not complaining about the mascot, per se, but is complaining that the administration certainly had the time, energy, and money to focus on designing this new mascot, and instead is paying lip service to the dangerous a$$wipes that apparently run rampant through their athletic department. It does seem a bit strange for this university's priorities, but not surprising, as we all know that (male) athletes can do no wrong as long as they win, so the women that are victimized by them should just, to paraphrase that other great humanitarian, Clayton Williams, "lie back and enjoy it."

Wilbur said...

Meade:
Mount played that first varsity game with a broken bone in his foot.

Very little video or film exists of him from his college days. Almost anyone who saw him will tell you he was the best shooter they ever saw.

I could go on for pages ...

Meade said...

"I could go on for pages ... "

Please do. I'll read every one.

Fernandinande said...

"Why did the UConn Huskies win the NCAA tournament?"

Cuz they hire athletes who play for a year and don't graduate:
http://www.vox.com/2014/4/7/5590682/uconns-basketball-team-graduates-8-percent-of-players

Fernandinande said...

Was it the logo?

It doesn't scare anybody, tho some feminists pretend it does.

Temperamentally, they are mellow, very sociable and loving animals.

Out Malamute was that way with people, but wanted to kill everything else, especially skunks (and then roll around on the skunk carcass..and then stay outside for a couple of weeks).

Fritz said...

Our Malamute was that way with people, but wanted to kill everything else, especially skunks (and then roll around on the skunk carcass..and then stay outside for a couple of weeks).

To be fair, being stuck outside isn't much of a hardship for a husky or malamute.

Pretty much on target. Huskies are social with people and other dogs, and death on small furry non-canine animals they're not socialized with. Even deer aren't safe.

I sure miss my husky.

My brother had a dog who could kill skunks without getting skunked. The downside was, his other dog (which was half husky) always got skunked in the process.

Fred Drinkwater said...

J Baker is correct. Read the actual letter. Whatever you think about the magnitude (or even the existence) of the behavior problem among UConn students Luby was describing, she barely touched on the "aggressive" nature of the logo. Her letter is about the administration's relative priorities between marketing the school vs. dealing with actual issues.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birches said...

I'm so glad you decided to revisit the logo. My spouse and I watched the game last night and kept cracking jokes about Kentucky being afraid of the "Rapey Husky."

Birches said...

I read the letter and it is silly. And it casts unfair attention on a new, aggressive logo. But the silliest part about her letter is that she believes that the men represent UCONN athletics.

The Women's basketball team rules UCONN (take that patriarchy!) It is a unique phenomenon to their school. If she can't even comprehend that important point, I can't put much stock into her criticism of the school's priorities.

tim in vermont said...

That could be the logo for that "titstare" app that offended the girl who worked at a startup devoted to sexting.

tim in vermont said...

A neighbor has three Malamutes.They ripped the siding off of my chicken coop as a pack and killed every last chicken. That was the end of chickens for me, even though I enjoy them, the hawks, the weasels, the skunks, the neighbor's dogs, they all love a good chicken dinner. After the weasel got into the coop, the walls looked like the shower in that scene from psycho.

They were nice dogs otherwise, if a bit overenthusiastic.

Anthony said...

Now that they've won, they should let the Husky go out and play in some rape culture.

Anthony said...

J Baker and Fred Drinkwater -

The original letter was mostly about the administration placing too much priority on sports, which I'm generally sympathetic to, but the whole letter leads up to that last punch about the new dog promoting rape, which she expects will add extra weight to her argument. That expectation deserves mockery.

It's pretty reasonable to argue that most colleges pay too much attention to their major sports teams, and there's a good argument to be made that the fetishization of athletics has led campus adminstrations to tolerate bad sexual behavior in athletes that they wouldn't tolerate from other students, but whining about the look of a stylized dog logo undercuts the entire argument, by elevating something trivial to similar importance as the very real problems around academic sports culture.

She's comparing a micro-aggression to a real aggression, when there's a million to one ratio in their seriousness.

Sam L. said...

I see two friendly, not-threatening dogs. Secong one looks rather like the Wolf on the Wolf Cub Scout Badge.

Gil Shivers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
acm said...

Huskies are sweet, talkative (not barky or yappy, but they love to vocalize) affectionate, hard-working creatures. I had two growing up. If you were going to look for the dog equivalent of an all-around good friend or neighbor, it would be a Husky.

The dog-with-tongue-out does not look at all like a Husky to me.